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What is your IQ, and is it important?
This article alleviates your fear.

stands for "Intelligence Quotient" and is determined by taking an IQ test.
It is supposed to represent your "intelligence," but as you will see in this discussion, intelligence is much more than a measurement from a test.
The common "IQ value" is obtained by taking the number of correctly answered questions in an IQ test and multiplying it by a "correction-value," -  taking your age into account and the duration of the test. The final result is your "IQ Score" or "IQ."
A value of "100" indicates an "average" person and applies to about 75% of the population. A score above "100" indicates an "above average person" and "below 100" is obvious.
If you have ever done one of these tests, you will find they consist of unusual questions and/or diagrams that you will rarely encounter in everyday life. Diagrams such as boxes, squares and triangles with shading etc are required to be placed in a particular order or letters such as SMTWTFS need to be interpreted.
If you have not seen these type of questions, you may have difficulty in providing the answers. That's object of the test. It is designed to test your "intelligence" by solving a problem that is new to you.
However, if you attempt a number of these tests, your score will improve as you will become aware of how to answer the questions. That's why some bright students obtain a high score. They are already aware of the type of questions in the tests.
Obviously this type of testing is not accurate and no-one should put any emphasis on the result as the number of questions in them is too small to generate any meaningful result.

I am not in favor of IQ tests or anything that tries to produce a value for "intelligence" but since the internet has a number of sites covering this topic, it is interesting to talk about it.
Intelligence is something that is intrinsic and extremely complex. It is something you cannot put your finger on and includes many facets, features and capabilities of a person. A simple test cannot possibly produce an accurate result. Intelligence is a "life-long" creation of ability, how you handle your affairs and how you treat others as well as thousands of other aspects.
If "intelligence" could be assessed as making money, Bill Gates would be at the top.
If it could be assessed as being a leader, George Bush would be a contender.
If it could be assessed as being an inventor, Thomas Edison would be in the running.
Clearly, "intelligence" is an indefinable attribute.

There are lots of things in your life that make up intelligence.
Attitude, capability, happiness, harmony and contentment are just a few.
If you are interested in how you would score in an IQ test, here are some links:  This is an Emode IQ test. It's free so don't pay for anything.  This site offers about 20 different types of IQ tests.

Once the fun of taking an IQ test has been satisfied, I want to talk about REAL INTELLIGENCE.
Real Intelligence is surrounding yourself with a life-style you enjoy. Some may call it "luck" but if you aim for a pleasurable life-style with the least stress and hassle, you can slot yourself into the group of people that can be classified as having "real understanding" or "real intelligence."
Real intelligence has nothing to do with IQ.
Real Intelligence is "coming to grips with life" and making a success of what-ever you do.
And "whatever you do" starts with the first thing you do in the morning and extends to the last thing at night.
You can live in a mountain retreat, jungle hide-out, an apartment in a multi-storey tower or a normal 3-bedroom house.
It doesn't mater where you live. It's a matter of enjoying life and passing this enjoyment to others.
That's the essence of making you INTELLIGENT.
You will notice I have not introduced academic ability into the equation, or age or any other individual feature.
We are talking about REAL INTELLIGENCE, not skilled ability.
Everyone can gain Real Intelligence. It's the art of thinking of others, caring and quantifying life as well as giving life a quality.
Don't take any notice of your IQ score. It doesn't matter if you get 95 or 125. It's much better to be a kind, caring individual than a brilliant professional that cannot communicate on a personal basis with anyone!

Education is not everything, but it is a major factor in the IQ equation. It's a wonderful feeling, to have an education. But an education is not cheap. In this discussion we are going to look at:
THE COST OF A GAINING A QUALIFICATION and a guide to choosing a course.

The cost is enormous. Especially a tertiary qualification.
It can cost more than you think.
Two to four years of full-time study can take up to 15 years to repay! 
In some cases it may never be repaid.
That's why you have to consider what you want or "how you want" to be educated and how much you want to pay.
In some cases, education will be a goal to be achieved at any cost.
In other cases you will have to weigh up the costs against the rewards.

Who can work out the cost of an education?
There are so many factors that the final cost is absolutely impossible to determine.
The only way to look at it is to consider the SACRIFICE.
How much time, energy and money are you prepared to put into getting the education you desire.

Not only will the financial commitment be considerable, but it will consume up to 4 years of your life.
Education is not merely the gaining of a degree. It's associating with educated people and it builds and improves your approach to everything.
With an education, you will see everything in a different light.

However, there are ways to go about it and ways to decide on the most-suitable qualification for your needs.
This article will help you with the facts, many of which you may not be aware of.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against education. It is the most important "asset" you will gain.
Not only does it give you a feeling of fulfillment, self-esteem and pride but it changes you totally. And most important, others will recognize this.
Education gives you a standing for the rest of your life and not a day will pass when you will not appreciate the work, effort and sacrifice you made.
But before you go headlong into the first course that takes your fancy, there are a  number of considerations and decisions you should make.

It is essential to make sure your qualification leads to a worthwhile career. Many courses go no-where. Either the market is closed (called a "closed-shop" or only open to special types of applicants - such as friends or ethnically-similar applicants to those controlling the intake) or vacancies do not exist in your area.
This is something you should investigate before deciding on a particular course.

To make sure a qualification leads to a career with a good salary, there are four factors you should be aware of:

1. What is the earnings potential of the qualification?
2. What is the travel-distance to work?
3. What is the demand for the qualification? (how many vacancies exist?)
4. What is the "life" of the qualification? (will it soon be "out of vogue?")

It's a matter of economics.
It is pointless studying for 4 years if the remuneration is little more than unqualified work. It's also pointless doing a 4-year course and ending up not finding a position.
As a point to note, over 50% of university graduates cannot find employment in the field of their study. (It may be: "cannot find work" or "do not want to work" in the field - the end result is the same - over 50% do not work in the field of their qualification.)
These are the cold, hard facts, so don't let this happen to you.
Education is an enormous gamble, an enormous undertaking and an enormous expense.
Because of this you should put a lot of thought into the decision.

A tertiary qualification need not be a masters, diploma or degree. It can be a trade certificate or even a short course.
You will be amazed at the remuneration from these types of qualifications.
If you compare the cost of gaining a qualification and the end-remuneration, a certificate course scores very high.
It may not provide the prestige of "collar-and-tie employment" but it may be less frustrating, more-rewarding and more suitable for you.
For instance, a position in the service industry can be very rewarding.
You may love dogs, like to be around elderly citizens, enjoy wood working, landscaping, metal working, or things to do with your hands.
An ability to work with your hands can provide you with a life-long income. Once you settle on the area you want to pursue and gain either a qualification or training, all you have to do is place an advertisement in the local paper and you will get a constant stream of enquiries.
Our local kitchen renovator gets 4 times more enquiries than he can handle and yet he prefers to operate on his own. He carefully sorts out the highest paying jobs and works on a cash-only basis. You can imagine the profit he makes! The only tell-tail sign is the three houses he owns and a farm.
"Service" can be in many forms but it generally boils down to two things. Providing "labor-only" or "product and labor." Service can be in the form of assistance (cleaning, dog-grooming designing, etc) or include a product, where you add or modify an item (called "value adding"), such as manufacture, repair, (TV's, microwave ovens, installation of antennas, satellite dishes, alarms, heaters, air conditioners, renovations, plumbing repairs, landscaping, brick-laying, fencing, flowers, hair-dressing, odd jobs etc. etc.)
Some of these areas have a high cash turnover and this makes them extremely lucrative. You need to be fit, a self-starter and prepared to drive to each client. In these days of mobile phones, you can run your business while attending to each job so all you need is an advertisement in a local newspaper. Over a period of time you will gain a customer-base through previous customers and recommendations and your business will increase.
I can site my own example on this. Recommendations and previous customers amounted to more than 50% of my business after I had been operating for about 1 year and they are the best to deal with. They trust you and you know payment is guaranteed. 
Monetary returns from running your own business can be up to 400% more than standard employment -  not because you are over-charging your customer but because you are properly organized by specializing in a small number of areas and carry stock of replacement parts etc.

Then there are the high-stress positions - lawyers, doctors, accountants, dentists.
I have no intimate knowledge of these fields, except to say my accountant suffers from migraines, my dentist is afraid of transmitting the AIDS disease and my lawyer is petrified of appearing in court.

If you are a self-starter and eager to venture into your own business, here are a number of pointers:

The first thing is:
If you can avoid renting a shop, factory or any form of storage-space, you will have considerably more chance of succeeding. These are all very high-cost items and bring down your profits. Not only are the costs high, but opening a shop will tie you down. It was one of the worst mistakes I ever made. The hidden flaw is the "down-time," watching the customers.
As soon as a customer enters your shop, you need to either attend to him or watch him to prevent theft. This can sometimes waste up to 45 minutes and creates enormous frustration. (The theft I suffered from the shop was ENORMOUS!)
Do not even consider opening a shop unless your business is already profitable and needs a showroom.
My recommendation is to work from home. You can even get a tax advantage from apportioning one or two rooms to your business.
By using your own home you are free to attend to a customer at any time. This is the essential part of a successful business. Almost every customer wants you to attend to him immediately and if you are operating from your home, you are in a position to do this.
It's called "spur of the moment" decision. It's a bit like impulse buying.
If you attend to a customer's call immediately, you have ten times more chance of getting the quote approved (and doing the job).
Also, if you are a mobile operator and carry spare parts with you and start the job immediately, you have a hold over the customer while you get the remaining parts. It's all in the secrets of strategy and customer-handling.

The other recommendation is to work for yourself.
By working for yourself, you create the most efficient business.  It has a rating value of "100%." When you employ a partner or worker, the return drops. The big mistake with a partnership is expecting the partner to do half the work. Theoretically twice the work can be done with two workers. But it doesn't work out that way. Nearly every job can be handled by one person. With two workers you need two cars, two telephones and two of everything else. The total return never increases to 200%.
Many customers do not like two workers turning up for a job as they think the cost will be double! It's a physiological barrier but very real. It's an enormous impediment to running a business - it reduces your recommendations and lowers your repeat customer enquiries.
With more than one worker in a business, the efficiency goes down. Two workers simply don't do twice the work. 
The crunch comes when the worker goes on holidays, gets sick or has to be laid off. This all costs BIG MONEY.
The only economical way to get additional help is to employ part-time workers. This can be on an hourly basis. There are many people who will jump at the opportunity to supplement their income with extra hours of cash-payment.

If you do not have the desire to work for yourself, you will have to go though the tormentuous task of searching for a job.
Sometimes this is a good way to get on-the-spot training and is a very clever way to get trained and be paid at the same time.
If you know how to fill out forms and ask the correct questions during an interview, you don't need any additional advice.
But for those new to this area, there are a number of things you need to be aware of.
Just like buying a second-hand car or house, there are sharks out there that will eagerly take your money and trick you.
It seems impossible that FRAUDSTERS operate in this area, but they do exist.
When you are searching through newspapers or the web for employment opportunities, you will come across a number of fraudulent advertisements. They will be hard to spot.
They will be non-existent jobs or people that are really trying to sell you something. The biggest "con" will be offering you high wages that are simply designed to "suck you in." Once you answer this type of advert, you will be taken down a "payment path" to gain "privileged selection,"  "special attention" or some other form of deceit.
The only way to avoid this is to do a lot of investigation. Don't fall for the first advertisement  that looks enticing. Gather lots of facts and figures. Anything that falls outside the normal type of advertisement can be judged as "deception."
The most important fact to remember is NEVER PAY FOR ANY SERVICES.
This includes up-front fees of any type: application fees, re-location fees, deposits, filing fees or anything that will give you a better opportunity to secure a position.
Honest employment agencies do not charge the employee any fees. Don't be tricked by statements such as "re-imbursement" or "guaranteed employment."
Make sure you know the name of the company you are applying to. If the employment agency holds back the name, you can assume something is "fishy."
Make sure you are not applying to a company that will use you for 4 weeks for a "rush job"  then dump you.
There is another trick: Many firms have a 4 week "trial period." They say they will "assess you" and make a decision.
This can be a time to "use you" and "dump you" without any compensation. Especially during busy periods such as holidays.
Some companies withhold wages or only part-pay because you did not "meet their strict requirements." This is also not legal.
These are some of the pitfalls for the "first-time employed" and you should do your homework before taking on any new career.
Some employees are tricked into paying some form of service that will "guarantee" them a "better application" for a job that does not exist or is "commission-only" based.
Commission-only employment is illegal in some countries.
The problem with commission-only employment is it is very hard to achieve sales in the first few weeks to meet the targets required by this type of employment and quite often the aim is get you to sell to your family and friends to meet these targets.
Don't be fooled into jobs where "you are the boss" or "work for yourself."
If you are new to the employment field, this type of activity is very difficult to succeed in. It takes months, if not years, to get to a point where your income will be more than the cost of running the business.  You need to get a position where you are helped, guided and monitored for a period of time, until you are able to operate on your own.
Take time to look around the company you intend to work for and talk to the staff. Ask all sorts of questions to find out if they are happy with the terms of employment, the attitude of the rest of the staff and the way directives are delivered to them. 

Don't be tricked into applying for a "work at home" job. There are no "work at home" jobs that make "lots of money."
You will see many fraudulent businesses advertised, like: Work at Home - invoicing doctors accounts, or delivery invoices or selling vitamins, or sea salt! or one of a number of similar activities.
Everyone wants a job like this and if they did exist, people would be telling their friends and the jobs would be filled immediately. They would NEVER need to be advertised.
Some of the largest assembly firms only advertise for new staff by putting a notice on the staff Notice Board. They have never spent a cent on advertising. They only employ friends and relatives of existing staff. They find the honesty and reliability of relatives to be much higher than introducing unknown employees.
Always consider this one point: Why is the job being advertised?  Why hasn't it been filled by friends of the employees?
What does the job REALLY entail?

No matter if you want to work for yourself or be employed by a company, you will need some form of qualification or training.
You need to work out if you can afford to get a qualification on a full-time basis or part time or wait until you find a job and match a qualification with the type of work you doing.  
You will find many institutions offer a wide range of courses -  from short-courses to 4-year full-time degrees.
The only way to approach this is to make a list of the areas you want to study or match the course with the employment. This will narrow the field enormously.
The next step is to look into the course structure, the duration of the course and the cost.
This becomes your starting point.
If you find a suitable course, you are lucky.  Many of the courses are purely theoretical or superficial and you end up with a "degree" that is hardly worth anything. Don't fall for one of these types of courses.
Many courses must include practical-work, due to the practical nature of the course. If this is not provided, you can be certain the end-result will be almost worthless.
Once you have the basic cost of the course, you need to add all sorts of costs such as car-costs (travel), meals, stationary, supplies, components (materials) etc.
On top of this you have to add the cost of paying off the course. This can be from 5% to 25% per year in bank or credit-card fees.
Now add the cost of non-employment for the duration of the course if you are doing full-time study.
When all these are added up, you will get quite a shock.
Once you have calmed down, you need to work out a method of payment and a duration.
If the costs and time-frame are acceptable, the course should be undertaken. If the benefits are not realizable, it may be possible to take a short-course or a correspondence course.
Don't be put off by the expenses of getting a qualification. The essential part is to keep your brain active.
If you cannot take up a high-level course (for either technical or monetary reasons), try a certificate or short course. It's a very good place to start.
Even a short course will expose you to the educational system and provide you with information to keep your "gray-matter" active.

For now,
Colin Mitchell


I have just read the most amazing sentence:

"A government study recently found that lack of financial education cost the average wage-earner $790,000 over their lifetime. Promoting a sound savings plan and investment strategy from an early age is the key."

This is so true.
Although I have made a lots of wise investments and decisions in my life, I have also overlooked a lot of areas where I could have improved my financial standing.
One area where I have recently made a radical change is INVESTING.
I had a number of "term policies," "endowments," "trusts," "superannuation" and "life policies.
The growth of these policies was hidden by the term "bonus" and when I calculated the actual percentage increase I found it ranged from 2.9% to 3.6%.
When you consider inflation is as high as 15% per year, all these policies were actually going BACKWARDS!
The answer was to cash them in and invest in the share market.
This is exactly what I did.
I took time and a lot of paper-work, but I am glad I persevered.
The money is now working for me and increasing at a rate of over 40%, after only 5 weeks in the market.

It is only recently that "on-line" trading has become available and the costs are far less than using a stock-broker.
I am not going into all the details of "on-line trading" as it would take a whole web site to explain all the "ins" and outs" but I can tell you the profits can be as high as 5% per week on some share transactions, and you can start with as little as $5,000.
But before you do any investing, you must do your home-work.
Start by using "imaginary" money and study the market before you start.
The term is called "DAY TRADING" and you need to study the market every day and really need to be "on-line" almost all day long if you want to catch the highs and lows that occur each day.
Obviously the amount of time you spend will be determined by the amount of money you have invested and it's a "catch-22" situation.
Firstly you need money to invest and if you intend to make trading a full-time endeavor, it will subtract from any full-time job you are currently involved in.
But when you realize a $600 profit
(in 3 days) on an $8,0000 investment can very soon rival a part-time job and you don't have the problem of commuting to work or paying for child-minding.
In affect you are fitting your wits against the rest of the population and the only way to raise your stakes is to involve yourself fully in the market.
You must remember, shares are essentially worthless and that's why you should only invest a maximum of 25% in this shaky field.
You must also be paying off your own home and have no credit-card debt.
But if you are in the position of having a policy sitting around, earning "nothing," now is the time to make a change.
You will thank me for it.